High-contrast Imager for Complex Aperture Telescopes (HICAT): II. Design overview and first light results
We present a new high-contrast imaging testbed designed to provide complete solutions in wavefront sensing, control and starlight suppression with complex aperture telescopes. The testbed was designed to enable a wide range of studies of the effects of such telescope geometries, with primary mirror segmentation, central obstruction, and spiders. The associated diffraction features in the point spread function make high-contrast imaging more challenging. In particular the testbed will be compatible with both AFTA-like and ATLAST-like aperture shapes, respectively on-axis monolithic, and on-axis segmented telescopes. The testbed optical design was developed using a novel approach to define the layout and surface error requirements to minimize amplitude induced errors at the target contrast level performance. In this communication we compare the as-built surface errors for each optic to their specifications based on end-to-end Fresnel modelling of the testbed. We also report on the testbed optical and optomechanical alignment performance, coronagraph design and manufacturing, and preliminary first light results.
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
- Pub Date:
- August 2014
- Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics
- Proc. of the SPIE 2014, 9143-71. 11 pages, 8 figures